Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

St. Lucie squeezes past Daytona in pitcher's duel, 3-1

José Franco punches out five over 4.2 innings in two-run defeat
RHP José Franco struck out five over 4.2 innings, taking a no-decision, as the St. Lucie Mets squeezed a 3-1 victory over the Daytona Tortugas on Saturday night at Clover Park. (Aldrin Capulong)
August 6, 2022

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The Tortugas' starting pitching continued to thrive on Saturday night, as RHP José Franco struck out five hitters over 4.2 one-run innings. However, the Mets picked up runs in the seventh and eighth to take the lead for good in St. Lucie's 3-1 victory over

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The Tortugas' starting pitching continued to thrive on Saturday night, as RHP José Franco struck out five hitters over 4.2 one-run innings. However, the Mets picked up runs in the seventh and eighth to take the lead for good in St. Lucie's 3-1 victory over Daytona at Clover Park.

Scoreless through four and a half innings, St. Lucie (19-16, 59-41) utilized the long ball to jump ahead in the fifth. With the bases empty and one out, LF Raúl Beracierta (1-3, R, HR, RBI, BB, SO) ripped a 1-0 pitch out towards the videoboard in left-center field for a solo home run. The right-hander swinger's second home run in as many days — and his 11th of the year — put the Mets in front, 1-0.

The home team's lead did not last long, though. In the top of the fifth, Daytona (10-23, 39-59) sprung a rally thanks to a one-out free pass to SS Edwin Arroyo (1-3, R, BB, 2 SO).

The 18-year-old quickly stole second base and, on the very next pitch, attempted to steal third on the pitcher. Arroyo produced such an effective lead and early break that he induced a balk from the pitcher attempting to make a pickoff move, granting him third base. RF Ashton Creal (0-3, RBI, SO) followed with a sacrifice fly to center, tying the game at one.

St. Lucie jumped in front for good in the seventh. C Brady Smith (1-3, R, 2B, SO) plopped a ball into a vacant patch of grass in shallow right field and motored into second with a double.

After a wild pitch advanced him to third, CF Omar De Los Santos (2-3, RBI, BB) snuck a grounder up the middle and past the drawn-in infield. Smith scored on the single, giving the Mets a 2-1 edge.

An inning later, St. Lucie added a run of insurance. 3B Justin Guerrera (2-4, R, 2 SO) started the eighth with a single to left and took second on a walk to RF Carlos Domínguez (0-1, 3 BB).

Following a fielder's choice that erased the runner at second, pinch-hitter Fernando Villalobos (0-1, RBI) hit a tapper up the first-base line. The first baseman fielded, but his only play was at first, where Daytona secured the force out. A run scored on the ground ball, stretching the Mets' advantage to two, 3-1.

The Tortugas managed to bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but could not come back. 1B Michel Triana (0-2, 2 BB, SO) coaxed a two-out walk to keep the game alive, but RHP Reyson Santos (1.0 IP, BB, 2 SO) recorded a strikeout looking to seal his first save in St. Lucie in 2022 and the Mets' win.

Neither starter received a decision on Saturday. Tortugas' RHP José Franco (4.2 IP, 3 H, R, ER, 4 BB, 5 SO) departed due to pitch count with two outs in the fifth and is one strikeout shy of 100 for the season. RHP Kyle Wilson (2.0 IP, 5 SO) punched out five of the six batters he faced in a rehab start for the Mets.

RHP Jeffrey Colón (5.0 IP, 3 H, R, ER, 2 BB, 4 SO) piggybacked off of Wilson and hurled five frames of one-run ball to earn his third win of the year for St. Lucie.

Daytona's RHP Brett Lockwood (3.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 3 SO) provided the bullpen with some crucial length but was saddled with his third defeat of the season.

The Tortugas try to salvage the final game of the season series on Sunday. RHP Julian Aguiar (7-6, 3.58) is scheduled to make the start for Daytona. RHP Harol González (0-0, 6.23) is projected to make his second rehab start of the series for St. Lucie. Coverage on the Tortugas Radio Network will begin on the MiLB First Pitch app and at 11:55 a.m. leading up to the 12:10 p.m. first pitch from Clover Park.

The Tortugas will return to Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Tuesday, August 9, to open up a two-week homestand with six games against the Lakeland Flying Tigers, the Florida State League affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. The series opens with another Shell Yeah Cookout. The $15 add-on includes the full “Bases Loaded” menu during a 90-minute buffet with hot dogs, hamburgers, pulled pork, baked beans, cookies, Pepsi products, and more. It is also a Breast Cancer Awareness Night presented by Radiology Associates Imaging. The Tortugas will don unique pink-clad uniforms that will be auctioned off at the end of the season with all proceeds to raise money and awareness in the fight against breast cancer. Silver Sluggers Night presented by Conviva is a part of the festivities. The exclusive 60-and-older club features deals at the team store, concession stands for members, and more. The series opener also marks a Taco Tuesday with options at the concession stands starting at just $3.

Multi-game plans, group packages, and single-game tickets are currently available and can be purchased online at or by calling the Tortugas’ Ticket Office at (386) 257-3172.

The Daytona Tortugas are the Single-A Affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and a member of Minor League Baseball’s Florida State League. The Tortugas play at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in downtown Daytona Beach, Fla. Jackie Robinson Ballpark also plays host to Bethune-Cookman University, the Jackie Robinson Ballpark Museum, and many community events and initiatives of all sizes throughout the year.